Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Recent Reading

-- Adrian Martin recently put up a post on Facebook listing some of his favorite film criticism and film writing of 2014. Here are links to nearly all the English-language pieces on that list:

Boris Nelepo on Alain Resnais' Life of Riley.
Catherine Grant and Christian Keathley, "Childhood cinephilia, object relations, and videographic films studies".
Masha Tupitsyn on Robert Bresson.
Carlos Losilla, "The Absent Image, The Invisible Narrative".
Sarinah Masukor on Godard's Éloge de l'amour.
Joe McElhaney on Paul Morrissey's Mixed Blood.
Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, "Horrors of History: On the Politics of Wolf Creek 2".
Tom Paulus, "The Disappearance of Kristen Stewart (And Other Mysteries of Contemporary Art Cinema)".
Sophie Mayer, "The Art of (Feminist Film) Work in the Age of Digital Reproduction".
John Flaus dossier at Senses of Cinema.
Philip Brophy, "A Sonic Reading of Visualised Space: A Spell To Ward Off The Darkness".
Andrew Klevan on Ernst Lubitsch, and Julian Hanich on Roy Andresson, at MOVIE.
Stoffel Debuysere, "Together in Electric Dreams".
Niall Lucy, "The Western Suburbs".
Mark Rappaport on Nina Menkes.
Ted Fendt's tireless translation work, such as this 1978 article on Jean Grémillon by Mireille Latil Le Dantec.
Finally, David Bordwell's series of posts on film critics of the 1940s: "Otis Ferguson and the Way of the Camera"; "The Rhapsodes: Agee, Farber, Tyler, and us"; "Agee & Co.: A Newer Criticism"; "James Agee: All there and primed to go off"; "Manny Farber 1: Color commentary"; and "Manny Farber 2: Space man".

-- As a follow-up to my previous post, which was a tribute to Gilberto Perez, here is a handful of his writings available to read online:

"L’eclisse: Antonioni and Vitti".
"The Life of Oharu: Not Reconciled".
"Self-Illuminated" (on Godard).
"It's a Playground" (on Kiarostami and Iranian Cinema).
"Dovzhenko: Folk Tale and Revolution".
"A Day in the Country: Jean Renoir’s Sunday Outing".
"The Dream Life" (on Colin McGinn's book The Power of Movies).
"Imperfection" (a review of books on John Cassavetes).
"Toward a Rhetoric of Film: Identification and the Spectator".

-- There are new issues of: The Cine-Files (on "The Video Essay: Parameters, Practice, Pedagogy"); MOVIE: A Journal of Film Criticism; "Cinema Comparat/ive Cinema" (a tribute to Manny Farber); Jump Cut; and Cinema: Journal of Philosophy and the Moving Image.

-- Zach Campbell now has a Tumblr page called Videodromology.

-- Jonathan Rosenbaum's "Global Discoveries on DVD" column in the current issue of Cinema Scope.

-- Also, a series of posts by Jonathan: "Ten Neglected Science Fiction Movies"; "A Dozen Undervalued Movie Satires"; "A Dozen Eccentric Westerns"; "Ten Overlooked Noirs"; "18 Thrillers You Might Have Missed"; "Eleven Treasures of Jazz Performance on DVD"; "Ten Favorite Offbeat Musicals"; and "Ten Overlooked Fantasy Films on DVD".

-- The late René Vautier's Afrique 50 is now on YouTube with English subs.

-- Cristina Álvarez López and Adrian Martin, "Bela Tarr's Repulsion: Fragments of a Lost Remake", and on Walerian Borowczyk. Also, Adrian on Eric Rohmer's A Summer's Tale; on Vivre Sa Vie, Le Notti Bianchi and Senso; and on Valerie and her Week of Wonders and The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant.

-- "The Gilbert Adair Files" at the BFI website. (Scroll down to the bottom for links to more writings on film by Adair.)

-- McKenzie Wark: "Anthropocene Futures"; "Anthropo{mise-en-s}cène"; and "The Library of New Babylon".

-- Tom Paulus, "The Circled Square: Documentaries by Wang Bing and Lav Diaz".

-- Christoph Huber on Jean Rollin: "Frenchman Jean Rollin occupies a special place in film history–and in my heart. He is the aesthete amongst a group of filmmakers I like to call the obsessives: Those directors who used the window of opportunity opening during more freewheeling genre times–roughly from the late 60’s to the early 80’s–to obstinately pursue personal paths, which often yielded remarkably uncommercial results despite the seemingly surefire ingredients of sex and violence."

-- Ryland Walker Knight: "The Speed of Causality: Michael Mann's "Blackhat"".

-- Andrea Lee, "Roberto Calasso's Encyclopedic Mind at Play" in The New Yorker. (Via Richard Porton.)

-- A lot of writing (essays and book chapters) by Thomas Elsaesser can be downloaded on his website.

-- Joshua Sperling interviews Abderrehmane Sissako on Timbuktu in The Brooklyn Rail.

-- Neil McGlone interviews Alan Rudolph.

-- Lisa Gye: "Some thoughts on the evolution of digital media studies" in The Fibreculture Journal.

-- Tom McCarthy, "Writing Machines: On Realism and the Real" in The London Review of Books.

-- At Indiewire: several cinematographers on film vs. digital.

-- At Pitchfork: "The 20 Best Music Videos of 2014". (Via Steven Shaviro.)

-- Looks very interesting: "The Legacy of Pasolini" conference at Yale next week.

-- An interview in the New Left Review with Bhaskar Sunkara, the founder of the successful online socialist journal Jacobin.

Any suggestions of good recent reading? Please feel free to post links in the comments section.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a great list, thank you for compiling it.

February 25, 2015 7:34 PM  
Blogger girish said...

You are welcome, Anon. It is also handy for me to have in one place when I am searching for a particular link months or years later.

February 25, 2015 7:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fantastic... thanks for sharing these with us.

February 26, 2015 3:03 AM  
Blogger girish said...

You're welcome, Hossein! Glad you found them of interest.

February 27, 2015 1:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Film Production Theory" by Jean-Pierre Geuens

February 27, 2015 10:03 PM  
Blogger girish said...

Yes, I like Geuens' book. I think it should be better known than it is.

February 28, 2015 4:33 PM  
Anonymous caboose said...

Girish, you beat me too it. I saw this comment yesterday about Film Production Theory by anonymous and thought: that is one of the best and one of the most unjustly neglected film books. It should be required reading, not just for every film production student, but for anyone who watches movies.

Now there's a group discussion topic for your blog someday, Girish: undeservedly neglected, obscure, forgotten or even denigrated film books in the dusty corners of people's bookshelves that they think others should know (and care) about.

March 01, 2015 6:48 AM  
Anonymous caboose said...

whoops! beat me to it, not beat me too it! must be that darn sticky o on my keyboard.

March 01, 2015 6:50 AM  
Blogger girish said...

caboose, that is an *excellent* idea for a future blog post/discussion!

March 01, 2015 8:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@Caboose, @Girish, I also like that idea for a future post/discussion.

While poking around for the book I came across Geuens' site -

March 01, 2015 12:26 PM  
Blogger girish said...

Thanks, Anonymous. I didn't realize Geuens had a website.

March 03, 2015 11:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lovely idea indeed. Especially if people take the time to not just list (and possibly link to) titles but also motivate their choices, and maybe even put them in context. That should give a good start to a fruitful discussion.

On an unrelated note, a question to you and all your readers, Girish. In economics, we have a separate journal which specialises in that neglected form of scholarship: (long-form) commentary and debate (Econ Journal Watch: It continues what used to be done in 'regular' journals up to more or less the second half of the last century. Is there something similar in film studies? A place where people actually comment on and engage with each other's work more than just by way of references or 200-word comments?

That would be an exciting place to follow, and I'd be much obliged to anyone for their recommendations.

March 09, 2015 3:56 AM  
Blogger girish said...

A great idea, Anonymous: it would be valuable to have a film studies journal/website devoted to long-form debate. I can't seem to think of one in the field. The relatively new journal [in]Transition (affiliated with SCMS and Cinema Journal), devoted to "videographic studies," has so far featured good comments discussions--although they are not long-form.

March 09, 2015 8:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, Girish. [in]Transition is a valuable journal in its field indeed although, yes, not quite what I had in mind.

The trouble with short-form comments is that by the time the commenter is done commending the author for their good work, the note is over and the reader is left unsatisfied like Romeo gasping for some kind of exchange. Of ideas, that is. Or rather reflection. The good thing about long-form commentary is that it encourages engaging repeatedly with someone else's work, attempting a charitable reading, and reflecting and organising one's thoughts before starting to actually write them out. All good fruitful practices, in my experience.

Would be nice indeed if such a place existed. Perhaps you can kick it off yourself, Girish, by doing a reading of an article that has recently appealed to you, and asking the author to respond. Or even inviting a guest blogger. Just an(other) idea, in case you ever needed one for future postings.

March 09, 2015 2:30 PM  

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